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PACIFIC STORM TRACKER

Tropical Depression 18W (Malakas), #37 FINAL

By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 20, 2016

10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, Japan time: Malakas was weaker than forecast as it blew thorugh the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area. Peak winds 32 mph at 8:22 p.m. Tuesday at Yokota. Dumped quite a bit of rain, as it has been all week and before, and though Wednesday’s forecast actually calls for some sunshine, rain does remain in the forecast for the Tokyo area through Saturday. All-clear for U.S. bases in Kanto was issued at 10 a.m. This is PST’s final update on Malakas.


8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, Japan time: Heavy, at times torrential showers are assailing the Tokyo area, reminiscent of last month's inundation by Tropical Storm Mindulle. This time, it's Malakas, downgraded to a tropical storm but still packing quite a bit of fury as it approaches the Kanto Plain.
U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch. Malakas is making its way through the central mountains of Honshu, right around Mount Fuji, with closest point of approach forecast for between midnight and 1 a.m. Wednesday, still packing 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts.
It's the rain. Oh, the rain. Tons of it, coming down in buckets throughout the Tokyo area. U.S. bases are bracing for the worst to hit between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Mindful of what occurred during Mindulle, especially on Yokota's low-lying east side, residents are being advised to stay indoor, and where to pick up supplies such as sandbags on the bases' official Facebook pages.
Winds of 40 mph and beyond are forecast, along with 3 to 5 inches of rain, although given what Mindulle did last month, that may be a conservative estimate.
Get your safe on, Kanto Plain!


Noon Tuesday, Sept. 20, Japan time: Malakas has picked up forward speed, trucking east-northeast at 24 mph, and still somehow remains -- for now -- a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center.
Malakas has passed Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to its south about mid-morning, and continues hurtling toward the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area. U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain are under Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch as a result.
While it continues to lost its wind punch, a lot of precipitation remains in this system. Tokyo and Kanagawa have already received bunches of rain and will continue to do so, on into Tuesday night, indeed all the way into Thursday.
As if the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area hadn't had enough rain the last month since Mindulle inundated the place. Especially Yokota's east side.
As it stands, Malakas is forecast to knife its way between Yokosuka Naval Base and Yokota early Wednesday morning as a middling -- and very rainy -- tropical storm. It should then head back out over the ocean and die out sometime Thursday.


6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, Japan time: Malakas remains a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, packing 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts, as it exits Kyushu. It should roll past Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni sometime Tuesday morning, then rumble headlong toward Tokyo as a middling tropical storm early Wednesday morning, 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts forecast.

Iwakuni and Naval Air Facility Atsugi remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.


7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, Japan time: Little change to Malakas, which has maintained 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center thanks to high ocean heat content. Malakas remains on course to crash ashore over southeastern Kyushu just past midnight, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Fleet Activities Sasebo and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni each remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.
Malakas is due to pass 121 miles south-southeast of Sasebo around 1 a.m. Tuesday and 108 miles south-southeast of Iwakuni eight hours later, maintaining Category 1-equivalent typhoon strength as it traverses east-northeast along the edges of Honshu.
Sasebo can expect sustained 35- to 40-mph winds and 63-mph gusts around midnight into the early morning Tuesday, according to CFAS' official Facebook page. Expect similar conditions at Iwakuni.
Up north, Naval Air Facility Atsugi is also in TCCOR Storm Watch. Malakas should maintain middling tropical-storm strength, 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts as it rolls through the Kanto Plain early Wednesday morning.


1:45 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, Japan time: Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni has been placed in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch. Strong winds and between 1-1½ inches of rain are forecast for Iwakuni on Tuesday morning.


1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have resumed seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 at 12:35 p.m. Monday. Peak winds on island associated with Typhoon Malakas were 29-mph sustained and 43-mph gusts at 10 a.m. Monday.


Noon Monday, Sept. 19, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo has entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.
Typhoon Malakas continues to whirl northeast and away from Okinawa; U.S. bases there remain in TCCOR Storm Watch, just in case.
Malakas has apparently peaked at 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts and could bring quite a wallop to southeastern Kyushu as it makes its way over land sometime Monday evening.
If Malakas remains on its current course, its expected to plow ashore around midnight, passing 130 miles south-southeast of Sasebo at 1 a.m. Tuesday, packing 115-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts.
Sasebo should be outside of Malakas' 58-mph wind bands. But the city and surrounding areas are in a flood warning.
Malakas should remain a Category 1-equivalent typhoon as it roars 122 miles south-southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 9 a.m. Tuesday, still packing 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts. No upgraded TCCOR is in place at Iwakuni.
Malakas should then pick up rapid forward speed, diminishing as it heads east-northeast toward U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain as a middling tropical storm, 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts as it passes.


6:45 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19, Japan time: Typhoon Malakas has begun edging northeast of Okinawa, but it continues intensifying, up to Category 3-equivalent strength, and could remain a Cat 2-equivalent typhoon when it makes forecast landfall over Kyushu late Monday into Tuesday.

At 3 a.m., Malakas was 371 miles southwest of Sasebo Naval Base, trucking northeast at 13 mph, packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Malakas should have already made its closest point of approach to Okinawa at 183 miles northwest at 4 a.m.

Malakas has remained over warm sea surface the last day or so, which explains the re-intensification. JTWC projects Malakas to be carrying 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts as it nicks the southeast coast of Kyushu around midnight Monday.

Malakas is due to pass 125 miles south-southeast of Sasebo around midnight Monday; Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3, and Sasebo City has posted a flood warning.

And Malakas should remain a Category 1-equivalent typhoon as it passes 115 miles south-southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at mid-morning Tuesday. And should remain a middling tropical storm as it takes aim at the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area into mid-morning Tuesday, it should retain that much intensity. Unpredictable bugger, this one is.


11:15 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, Japan time: Whoa. Now, Typhoon Malakas has done a slight about face and has intensified, while the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track takes it a bit closer to Okinawa as Sunday becomes Monday. But still far enough that Okinawa won’t feel Malakas’ full fury.

At 9 p.m., Malakas was 442 miles southwest of Sasebo Naval Base, chugging east-northeast at 12 mph. If it remains on its current course, though, Malakas should pass 177 miles northwest of Kadena Air Base at 2 a.m., packing 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at center – nearly 20 mph stronger than PST last reported.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch. Okinawa is still forecast to experience up to 46-mph gusts early Monday morning, with 2 to 4 inches of rain.

Beyond that, Malakas is still projected to pass between 115 and 128 miles south-southeast of Sasebo, which remains in TCCOR 3, and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, gradually losing its punch as it streaks northeast, but still ranging between severe tropical storm and Category 1-equivalent typhoon.


5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, Japan time: Little change to previous report. At 3 p.m., Typhoon Malakas was 506 miles southwest of Sasebo Naval Base, heading northeast at 10 mph, still packing 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts at center.

Fleet Activities Sasebo has set Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 as a precaution.

it remains due to pass 198 miles northwest of  Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, at 5 a.m. Monday. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in TCCOR Storm Watch. Still expecting maximum wind gusts between 40 and 46 mph between sunrise and mid-morning Monday.

Malakas is forecast to continue heading northeast, passing at 5 a.m. Tuesday 114 miles south-southeast of Sasebo, barely maintining Category 1-equivalent typhoon strength. Destructive winds at Sasebo are not forecast to occur, but better be safe than sorry in case of any track or wind-velocity changes.

It should then pick up the pace while rapidly losing power, passing 98 miles southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 4 p.m. Tuesday as a tropical storm, 46-mph sustained winds, 58-mph gusts at center.

On to the Kanto Plain it next moves. Malakas should be close to dying out as a tropical depression when it reaches the Tokyo area at mid-afternoon Wednesday.


Noon Sunday, Sept. 18, Japan time: As typhoons do sometimes, Malakas appeared as if it was taking a bit of a break after its long trek from the Marianas Islands, as if to sort of take in the view of Taiwan and Japan's Ryukyu Islands.
But now, Malakas has begun the long trek northeast, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At 9 a.m., Malakas was 266 miles west of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, headed northeast at 10 mph. Still got a serious wallop to it, too; 92-mph sustained winds, 115-mph gusts at center.
Malakas's latest forecast track still takes it southeast of Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, but more on course to directly impact the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area by mid-week. Perhaps as a middling tropical storm, or a tropical depression; either way, it should chug through the area quickly.
U.S. bases on Okinawa and Fleet Activities Sasebo remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.
If it remains on course, Malakas should pass 191 miles northwest of Kadena at 7 a.m. Monday. Despite that long loop around Okinawa, it's not time to be complacent. It could edge closer and the island could feel a more powerful punch than the 40- to 46-mph gusts forecast for early- to mid-morning. Everything depends on track and wind velocity.
Malakas is due to pass 138 and 127 miles southeast of Sasebo and Iwakuni between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, diminishing from a Category 1-equivalent typhoon to a tropical storm as it rolls past.
JTWC projects Malakas to pass right over U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain by mid-afternoon Thursday. The Tokyo area can expect yet another rainy, windy week as a result, as if it hasn't gotten enough of both lately.


11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Japan time: Typhoon Malakas' forecast track has edged slightly further west of Okinawa, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
And while it remains on target to pass just south of Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, it should speed by each locale quickly as it hurtles northeast, rapidly losing power.
At 9 p.m., Malakas was 317 miles west of Kadena Air Base, rumbling north at 8 mph but starting to diminish ever so slightly. It still packs a good wallop, 115-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts at center.
But the fury now assailing Taiwan's northeast corner, opposite of where Meranti battered Taiwan's southwest the other day, should start subsiding gradually very soon.
Malakas is forecast to pass 233 miles northwest of Kadena at 9 a.m. Monday, and still packing 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at center. Okinawa can still expect peak 30-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts at about 9 a.m. Monday, according to Shogunweather.com.
Malakas should then pass 83 miles south-southeast of Sasebo at 10 a.m. Tuesday, then 68 miles south-southeast of Iwakuni 10 hours later, still a middling tropical storm, 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts at center.
U.S. bases on Okinawa and Fleet Activities Sasebo each remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.


5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Japan time: Slight adjustment to Malakas' forecast track. Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Malakas to edge further north, but rapidly lose power as it tracks northeast.
If it remains on its current course, Malakas is due to pass 81 miles south-southeast of Sasebo Naval Base at 10 a.m. Tuesday as a severe tropical storm, 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at center. The mountains of southern Kyushu might prove an effective shield. Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.
It should then pass 72 miles south-southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, and it should be there and gone quickly as Malakas encounters rugged terrain and picks up rapid forward speed.
JTWC's latest track indicates that Malakas could die out as a tropical depression even before it reaches the Kanto Plain. Remains to be seen. PST still on it.
Okinawa, for the moment, remains relatively out of harm's way; U.S. bases on island remain in TCCOR Storm Watch as well.


2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Japan time: Even 40-mph sustained winds are no longer expected on Okinawa, according to the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight's Shogunweather.com, its official Web site.
Peak winds at Kadena are forecast to be 23-mph sustained and 29-mph gusts, while northeastern parts of the island could get 29-mph sustained and 46-mph gusts, at mid-morning Monday.


1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Japan time: Just how close will Typhoon Malakas come to Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni? How far east will it traverse? And how strong will it be when it approaches the Tokyo area, if it does?
See how unpredictable Ma Nature can be?
Those mysteries remain as Malakas begins its push north, skirting the east coast of Taiwan and still on course to curve north and west of Okinawa, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
There's still a slight spread among model solutions regarding where exactly Malakas will go once it begins trucking northeast.
Here's how things stack up as of 1 p.m.:
At 9 a.m., Malakas was 116 miles southeast of Taipei, Taiwan's capital, and 286 miles southwest of Kadena Air Base, chugging north at 14 mph packing 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center.
If it remains on its current JTWC forecast track, Malakas should pass 215 miles northwest of Kadena at 1 p.m. Sunday, still packing a serious punch, 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts at center.
U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch. That could change depending on wind velocity and track speed.
And model solutions continue to depict different things, a track south of Japan's main islands, bulling right over them, even skimming the northern edges of them into the Sea of Japan.
For now, JTWC projects Malakas to rumble 95 miles south-southeast of Sasebo at mid-afternoon Monday, still as a severe tropical storm. Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.
Malakas should then pass 69 miles south-southeast of Iwakuni, rapidly losing power as quickly as it moves northeast toward the middle of Honshu. Could come as close as 61 miles northwest of Yokota Air Base at 4 a.m. Thursday as a tropical depression (don't worry; the Friendship Festival should go on as planned).


8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Japan time: Expect a gusty, rainy Sunday evening and Monday morning as Typhoon Malakas continues on a forecast track taking it well north and west of Okinawa. But Malakas could edge closer to Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Malakas is first expected to brush just east of Taiwan, passing 66 miles east of Taipei, the island capital, at 6 p.m. Saturday; it’s already raking the east coast of the island with rain and high winds. Not as bad as when Meranti battered the southwest coast, but still nasty. Malakas is packing 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts as it passes Taiwan.

Then on Sunday into Monday, Malakas should start weakening as it curves north and east around Okinawa, with Malakas passing 215 miles northwest of Kadena Air Base at high noon Monday, still packing 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts at center. U.S. bases on Okinawa have been placed in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.

Shogunweather.com, Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s official Web site, projects possible 40-mph sustained winds between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, Peak winds at Kadena are forecast to be at high noon, 23-mph sustained and 35-mph gusts. For northeast parts of the island, that may increase to 29-mph sustained and 46-mph gusts, again at high noon.

Beyond that, Malakas should continue diminishing, but remain a significant tropical storm as it rumbles 110 miles south-southeast of Sasebo at 4 p.m. Tuesday and 94 miles south-southeast of Iwakuni 12 hours later. Sasebo remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.


11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, Japan time: Typhoon Malakas is forecast to peak at 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts at mid-morning Saturday – just as it skims Taiwan’s east coast, coming within 58 miles east of Taipei by mid-afternoon.

Malakas should begin curving northeast at mid-morning Sunday. Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Malakas to pass 204 miles northwest of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, at 7 p.m. Monday, a bit later than previously forecast. It should still be packing 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts as it roars past.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. They could still see an upgrade as high as TCCOR 1-C (caution), depending on track and intensity.

Shogunweather.com, Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s official Web site, forecasts Kadena to get maximum winds of 29-mph sustained and 46-mph gusts at Kadena at noon. Some northeast areas of the island may see 40-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts. It’s possible for sustained 40-mph winds to occur between midnight Sunday and 3 p.m. Monday, about 15 hours, Shogunweather.com stated in its forecast wind timeline.

JTWC’s forecast track has Malakas edging closer to Sasebo Naval Base, 124 miles south-southeast at 6 p.m. Tuesday still as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center. It should remain a significant tropical storm as it passes 107 miles south-southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 4 a.m. Wednesday. Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.


6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, Japan time: Typhoon Malakas’ forecast track has changed little for Okinawa, but has edged a bit closer to Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest update.

At 3 p.m., Malakas was 434 miles south-southwest of Kadena Air Base and 315 miles south-southeast of Taipai, Taiwan’s capital, headed northwest at 15 mph, a bit faster than Friday morning. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.

If Malakas remains on its current course, it’s due at 4 p.m. Monday to pass nearly 200 miles northwest of Kadena. That should be just outside Malakas’ 40-mph wind bands but close enough for a bothersome start to the new week.

Malakas is next due to curve northeast and brush Japan’s southwestern main island of Kyushu about 133 miles south-southeast of Sasebo at 3 p.m. Tuesday, still as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, packing 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center. Sasebo may yet be shielded by the mountains in Kyushu’s southeast. Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.

Next is Iwakuni, which should be 115 miles north-northwest of Malakas as it passes, as a severe tropical storm. JTWC projects Malakas to make landfall just southwest of Osaka by mid-day Wednesday.


2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, Japan time: Here’s the updated Typhoon Malakas wind-forecast timeline for U.S. bases on Okinawa:

  • Sustained 40-mph winds or greater: Midnight Sunday
  • Peak 29-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts for Kadena Air Base: Noon Monday
  • Peak 40-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts for northeastern Okinawa: Noon Monday
  • Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: 3 p.m. Monday

This could change depending on Malakas’ actual track and intensity. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.


Noon Friday, Sept. 16, Japan time: A little later than previously forecast, but Typhoon Malakas remains on track to pass north of Okinawa and south of Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni as the new week begins.

At 9 a.m., Malakas was 478 miles south-southwest of Kadena Air Base and 400 miles south-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, moving northwest at 14 mph. Because the forward speed has slowed, that may delay Malakas’ passage of U.S. facilities in Okinawa and southwestern Japan even more than previously projected. Wait and see.

Taiwan will be the first to get whacked by Malakas, as if it needed any more punishment given Super Typhoon Meranti’s passage. If Malakas remains on its current path, it’s due to pass 57 miles east of Taipei at 8 p.m. Saturday Taiwan time, packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center. Taipei, and much of Taiwan’s east coast, should be within range of Malakas’ 58-mph wind bands. Not good.

Once past Taiwan, Malakas is then due to curve northeast; the question remains exactly when. Model guidance agrees on a northeast curve, but how close or far away Malakas passes U.S. bases is still up in the air.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center pegs Malakas as passing 190 miles northwest of Kadena Air Base at 5 p.m. Monday – nine hours later than previously forecast – and packing 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts at center. If Malakas comes closer, wind gusts and showers from outer bands can only increase. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.

From there, Malakas is due to pick up forward speed and diminish as it makes its way northeast. It’s forecast to pass 146 miles south of Sasebo, which remains in TCCOR Storm Watch, at 3 p.m. Tuesday and 127 miles south of Iwakuni 10 hours later. Somewhere between a minimal typhoon and severe tropical storm.


6:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16, Japan time: Little question that Typhoon Malakas remains on course to track north and west of Okinawa in the coming days.

The questions that do remain:

  • ­­How close to Okinawa will Malakas come when it starts tracking northeast toward Japan’s main islands on Sunday? The forecast track has edged a bit closer over the last 12 hours.
  • How close to Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni will Malakas pass? While current projections say relatively well south, some model solutions peg a direction path toward both, some even north of each base, skimming the northern edges of Japan’s main islands.

The immediate answer: We will see what we will see.

Taiwan – poor Taiwan – remains in the immediate line of fire. At 3 a.m., Malakas was 482 miles southeast of Taipei, tracking northwest at 16 mph, packing 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at storm’s center.

Malakas is forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to peak at 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts as it traverses north along the east coast of Taiwan, rumbling 61 miles east of Taipei at 4 p.m. Saturday. Taipei could see a significant part of the 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center as Malakas roars past.

That means for most of the weekend, Malakas should remain well west of Okinawa, coming within 189 miles northwest of Kadena Air Base at mid-day Monday, and still a significant Category 1-equivalent typhoon, 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts at center.

Will that be far enough that Okinawa won’t feel a pronounced portion of Malakas’ fury? For the moment, U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. That could be upgraded in the coming days; we could even see an upgrade to TCCOR 1-C (caution) should sustained winds meet or exceed 40-mph sustained at a given base on the island. Time will tell.

As for Sasebo and Iwakuni, Malakas is forecast to pass 150 and 141 miles south-southeast between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday as a middling to significant tropical storm. That is, if the current JTWC forecast track holds; every chance that track could change, given the slight spread among model solutions. Sasebo remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.


8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, Japan time: Closer, ever closer, Typhoon Malakas edges toward Taiwan, and further away from Okinawa, with the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track.

At 3 p.m., Malakas was 614 miles south of Kadena Air Base and had slowed considerably, down to 9 mph west-northwest instead of 17 mph Thursday morning. Still, the track continues moving Malakas away from Okinawa, the curve getting ever wider with every passing update.

If Malakas remains on its current track, it’s due to pass just 87 miles east of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, at 1 p.m. Taiwan time Saturday. Malakas is due to reach peak intensity as it passes to Taiwan’s southeast, 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center, diminishing slightly as it rumbles north.

Malakas should then begin curving northeast at midday Sunday, passing 205 miles north-northwest of Kadena at 1 a.m. Monday, with forecast winds at center diminishing to 110-mph sustained and 127-mph gusts, but at storm’s center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Whether that’s upgraded remains to be seen.

Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight update at 7:30 p.m. indicated that Okinawa could receive 40-mph sustained winds between 3 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, with peak 52-mph gusts forecast for 1 a.m. Sunday. But such winds could occur sometime Saturday also, before Malakas rounds the bend and heads toward Japan’s main islands.

Malakas should rapidly lose strength from that point. It’s due to pass 147 miles south-southeast of Sasebo Naval Base and 162 miles south-southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni between 1 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tuesday as a mild to severe tropical storm. Fleet Activities Sasebo is in TCCOR Storm Watch.


6:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, Japan time: Little change to previous PST updates. Typhoon Malakas remains on forecast track to pass well west of Okinawa. Closest point of approach is now 227 miles northwest of Kadena Air Base at 11 a.m. Sunday, with Malakas packing 115-mph sustained winds and 132-mph gusts at center.

Shogunweather.com, Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight Web site, forecasts a gusty, wet weekend. Peak winds on Okinawa forecast to be 40-mph sustained and 52-mph gusts at 2 a.m. Saturday with 3 to 5 inches of rain, according to Shogunweather. Malakas’ worst should remain off the east coast of Taiwan, 114 miles east of Taipei at 8 a.m. Saturday.


11 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Japan time: Malakas was upgraded to a Category 1-equivalent typhoon Wednesday evening by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 p.m., Malakas was 732 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, tracking west-northwest at 14 mph, packing 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts at center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.

JTWC’s forecast track pegs Malakas as passing 228 miles west-northwest of Kadena at 8 p.m. Saturday, packing 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center. Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight projects peak winds on Okinawa to be 35-mph sustained and 58-mph gusts early Saturday morning. Between 3 to 5 inches of rain are forecast.


5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Japan time: Looks as if Malakas is settling on a forecast track still taking it well west of Okinawa and just south of Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. Tokyo remains just out of the picture at the moment.

At 3 p.m., Malakas was 725 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, trucking west-northwest at 10 mph, packing sustained 69-mph winds and 86-mph gusts, remaining just below typhoon strength. Malakas remains forecast to peak at 138-mph sustained winds and 167-mph gusts at storm’s center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.

If it remains on its current path, Malakas should pass 235 miles west-northwest of Kadena at 11 p.m. Saturday, still packing 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts, but at storm’s center. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are not forecast for Okinawa at the moment. That could change, depending on Malakas’ track and intensity.


4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Japan time: Now that the 18th Wing Command has issued Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3, time for folks to begin reviewing what they need to do when accelerated TCCORs begin. Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s Shogunweather.com web page features some solid tips. The page updates as TCCORS are upgraded.

Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours. But sustained 58-mph winds at this point are not forecast. Top winds are projected to be 40-mph sustained and 58-mph gusts at 2 a.m. Saturday.

At TCCOR 3, folks should begin a general cleanup around homes and offices and check their emergency kits, grab some nonperishable food and enough water to last three days in case power and water are off for any duration. Gas up and visit the ATM to get enough money and local currency to last three days. And don’t forget to care for your furry friends and the little ones, pet food, diapers, formula and sanitary wipes.


4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Readiness Condition 3.

Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.


Noon Wednesday, Sept. 14, Japan time: Tropical Storm Malakas’ forecast track continues to take it away from Okinawa and closer to beleaguered Taiwan, while Sasebo Naval Base, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and U.S. bases in the Tokyo area could get a taste of it, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 a.m., Malakas was 795 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, tracking west-northwest at 18 mph, packing 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts, again just below typhoon strength. Malakas is forecast to intensify into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon later Wednesday and peak at 138-mph sustained winds and 167-mph gusts at center at mid-morning Friday.

If Malakas remains on its current path, expect it to pass 243 miles west-northwest of Kadena at 10 p.m. Saturday, still packing 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center. Model solutions remain in agreement on a wide swath around Okinawa, then northeast toward Japan’s main islands.

U.S. bases on island remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4, but the weekend should still be a wet, gusty one for Okinawa. Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s official Web page, Shogunweather.com, forecasts partly to mostly cloudy skies, 60- to 70-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms and east to southeast winds up to 24-mph sustained and 34-mph gusts.

All that could change if Malakas’ track veers back toward Okinawa.

Malakas is forecast to remain a Category 1-equivalen typhoon as it nears Kyushu, and pass 89 miles south-southeast of Sasebo and just over 100 miles south-southeast of Iwakuni as a significant tropical storm. While its forward speed picks up and it shoots hard east, the Tokyo area could feel some effect by mid-morning Monday. Sasebo and Iwakuni could see TCCOR Storm Watch by the weekend.


6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Japan time: As if Taiwan doesn’t have enough problems with Super Typhoon Meranti bearing down on its south end, the country’s northeast end could get a similar battering from Malakas as it keep sintensifying and its track continues edging away from Okinawa and toward the island nation.

Malakas has intensified to just below typhoon strength, 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts, as it continues tracking almost due west at 12 mph. Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Malakas to peak at 138-mph sustained winds and 167-mph gusts early Friday morning.

If it remains on its current path, Malakas is forecast to pass 229 miles west of Kadena Air Base on Okinawa at 7 p.m. Saturday. There remains a spread among model solutions, but they agree on a curve around Okinawa toward Japan’s southwestern main island of Kyushu.

In the long term, Malakas is forecast to pass 91 miles south of Sasebo Naval Base at 1 p.m. Sunday, still packing a Category 1-equivalent punch or close to it.


12:15 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Japan time: Like a football running back reversing his field, Tropical Storm  Malakas’ forecast track has edged west by more than 60 miles in the last six hours, taking it further away from Okinawa over the weekend, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 p.m., Malakas was 968 miles east of Manila and tracking almost due west at 15 mph, packing 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts at center. If it remains on its current course, Malakas is due to intensify into a typhoon sometime Wednesday evening and peak at 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center by mid-evening Friday.

Malakas is due to pass 185 miles west of Kadena Air Base at 10 a.m. Saturday, well west of previous projection, but still as a Category 3-equivalent storm. So Okinawa can feel some effect from Malakas; the question being how much.

Model solutions are in much better agreement, but the consensus shifted much further west than a few hours ago. And keep in mind, Malakas is just in its second day as a tropical cyclone.

Better be safe than sorry, though. Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight said the wing will likely hold a typhoon strike meeting Wednesday afternoon, after which a decision will be made whether to accelerate Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness. It remains at seasonal TCCOR 4 for U.S. bases on Okinawa at the moment.


6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, Japan time: Get ready for a possible visit to Okinawa this weekend by Tropical Storm Malakas, expected to intensify as it moves northwest into Okinawa’s neighborhood and rake the island with gusty winds, rainshowers and thunderstorms into the weekend.

At 3 p.m., Malakas was just over 1,000 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, tracking west at 12 mph, packing sustained 52-mph winds and 63-mph gusts at center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 for now; expect that to change as early as Wednesday afternoon.

Malakas remains on track to knife its way between Taiwan and Okinawa. Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track takes Malakas 118 miles west-northwest of Kadena at 6 a.m. Saturday, still as a significant Category 3-equivalent typhoon. It’s forecast to peak at 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts at center about 15 hours before closest point of approach to Kadena.

Shogunweather.com, Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s official website, forecasts east to southeast winds between 17 and 23 mph with gusts between 23 and 33 mph starting Thursday and increasing into Saturday, and between 60 and 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Though TCCORs haven’t been accelerated yet, no time like now to start preparing. Check what’s in your closet and determine what you might need. Begin a general cleanup around house and office. Give this a look https://shogunweather.com/tccor/ to get an idea of what to do as TCCORs are upgraded.


12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, Japan time: Just west of Okinawa, the forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center continues to peg Malakas’ path in the coming days. But a rather significant spread among model guidance remains.

Some models show a track over Taiwan, others directly over Okinawa, still more east of the island. And it’s still early in Malakas’ life, just a day and a half. So much can change in the run-up.

As it is, Malakas remains a significant tropical storm and is forecast to peak at 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center as Malakas curves north and to the west of Okinawa, 163 miles west of Kadena Air Base at about 11 a.m. Saturday, and still packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.


6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, Japan time: With every passing Joint Typhoon Warning Center update, Tropical Storm Malakas’ forecast track has edged a bit further west of Okinawa and toward Taiwan, which is already under assault from Super Typhoon Meranti.

If Malakas (Tagalog for strong or powerful) remains on its current course, it’s due to pass about 175 miles west-northwest of Kadena Air Base at 10 a.m. Saturday as a Category 3-equivalent typhoon, packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at storm’s center.

How much that means Malakas will affect Okinawa remains to be seen. Malakas is still in its relative infancy, in only its second day as an active tropical cyclone and there remains something of a spread among model solutions, some forecasting a curve closer to Okinawa, others showing a track further west.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. That may or may not change, depending on Malakas’ forecast track and intensity. PST remains watchful.


6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, Japan time: 18W has been upgraded to a tropical storm by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Its track has wobbled a bit southwest over the last six hours, but it remains on course to pass just west of Okinawa overnight Friday into Saturday, if the current track holds.

At 3 p.m., 18W was about 195 miles west of Naval Station “Big Navy” on Guam, churning west at 17 mph, packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts at center. Should it remain on its current path, 18W would pass 100 miles west of Kadena Air Base at 3 a.m. Saturday, packing 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center, Category 4-equivalent strength.

There still remains something of a spread among model solutions, some of which show 18W passing west of Okinawa and others right over the island. So all this could change. PST is keeping watch.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Shogunweather.com, Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight official weather website, calls for easterly winds picking up Friday, 16-mph sustained with gusts up to 26 mph in the morning, increasing to 21 and 33 in the evening.


Noon Monday, Sept. 12, Japan time: Tropical Depression 18W is edging slowly away from Guam, intensifying as it goes, and remains forecast to reach Category 3-equivalent typhoon status by Thursday and enter Okinawa’s neighborhood on the weekend, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 a.m., 18W was 94 miles west of Naval Base “Big Navy” on Guam, tracking west-northwest at 17 mph, with 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts at center. 18W, which would be named Rai (Micronesian for old-school Yap stone currency), is forecast to peak at 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts by mid-morning Thursday.

Most model solutions peg 18W as turning northwest. JTWC’s latest forecast track takes 18W 105 miles west-southwest of Kadena Air Base late Friday into Saturday, still packing 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at storm’s center.

It’s still very early in the life of the storm, so many variables could affect its intensity and motion. Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight says it’s monitoring the situation closely. For now, U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4; that could change by Wednesday.


7:45 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, Guam time: Okinawa could get its first real typhoon by this weekend, after a very silent tropical cyclone season thus far.

A new tropical depression formed just south of Guam overnight Sunday and is forecast to rumble northwest, intensifying all the way, and could morph into a Category 3-equivalent typhoon, perhaps stronger, as it makes its way toward the Ryukyu Islands and Okinawa by Friday.

18W was 69 miles southwest of Guam at 7 a.m., tracking west-northwest at 17 mph, packing sustained 35-mph winds. A high-surf and small-craft advisory are in effect for Guam.

If it remains on its initial forecast track, 18W is forecast to track 85 miles west of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, early Saturday morning, packing sustained 121-mph winds and 150-mph gusts at center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.

Model guidance generally agrees on a track in Okinawa’s general direction, then a northeast curve toward Japan’s main islands.


1 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, Guam time: A new tropical disturbance 132 miles southeast of Guam is now the subject of a tropical cyclone formation alert issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The National Weather Service on Guam issued a special weather statement, saying the disturbance has a good chance of developing into a tropical depression west of the Marianas islands Monday evening or earlier.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected, with wind gusts between 20 and 30 mph. No conditions of readiness have been issued for Guam. Model guidance suggests a turn northwest, possibly toward Okinawa and Japan’s main islands. PST is keeping an eye on it.
 

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